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The Holy Mountain (1973)

Directed, written, produced, co-scored, co-edited by and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Holy Mountain follows a man we later know as The Thief (Horacio Salinas) who when we meet him is laying in a desert with flies covering his face. He is befriended by a footless, handless dwarf. The duo decide to travel to a nearby city where they can make money entertaining the tourists. Now this sounds a simple enough plot to follow, but already clues are a plenty that this might not your average cinema experience. To give you an idea where this film is heading, before filming began, director Alejandro Jodorowsky spent a week without sleep under a Zen Master’s direction and then lived communally with the film’s cast for a month!

Now it turns out the Thief bears a striking resemblance to Jesus Christ and this results in a nun and three warriors casting an impression of his body and sell the resulting crucifixes. The Thief then gets into an arguement with a priest and as a result decides to eats off the face of his wax statue and sends it skyward with balloons, symbolically eating the body of Christ and offering “himself” up to Heaven. Soon after, he notices a crowd gathered around a tall tower, where a large hook with a bag of gold has been sent down in exchange for food.

Now The Thief wants to know where the gold has come from so ventures up the tower where he meets The Alchemist (Jodorowsky) and his silent female assistant. Following their meeting the Thief takes a poop into a container. The Alchemist then proceeds to transform the poop into gold whilst shouting “You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold.”

The Thief accepts the gold, but smashes a mirror with the gold when shown his reflection. The Alchemist then takes the Thief as an apprentice and soon the Thief meets seven more people who each represent one of the planets. Nowa group of ten, the Alchemist takes them on a strange journey involving various rituals!

The Holy Mountain is available as part of the Alejandro Jodorowsky Bluray Collection.

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